Indian schools are perennially in a sport of bother

Updated: Aug 28, 2019, 08:44 IST | A correspondent

The reasons are several but it begins with PT or PE being at the bottom of the pecking order in schools

This picture has been used for representation purpose only
This picture has been used for representation purpose only

A story in this paper should be trigger for introspection and change for schools when it comes to Physical Training (PT) or Physical Education (PE) as it is called. The Central Government has a new initiative called 'Fit India' for schools. Schools in the state have been asked to observe National Sports Day tomorrow - August 29. Students and teachers have been asked to take a pledge for fitness. Quite rightly though, this initiative sterling though it may sound, rings hollow.

The reasons are several but it begins with PT or PE being at the bottom of the pecking order in schools. This may not apply to every school, but by and large, PT teachers are not accorded the same status as other teachers in the school. This internal attitude then percolates down to the students. Students view PT class as a chore, or a joke. Some of them cut PT class. Even within the staffers, PT is looked on as a 'lesser important' subject in the academic curriculum. Parents often tell their children to concentrate on studies and less on PT or games.

In several schools, the PT teacher slot is yet to be filled. Many schools do not have a place for their students to play. Others have shoddy equipment. Even inter-school match venues have poor changing rooms and unhygienic wash rooms or no wash rooms at all. There are no showers for our young athletes to avail of after matches. Medical facilities at many meets are skeletal or completely absent.

It is these aspects that need attention rather than marking a National Sports Day. Make PT a vital part of the school syllabus. Give PT teachers their rightful place of importance in the school system. Improve amenities across the board. After that, comes National Sports Day. Let us start the ball rolling now and get it sport on.

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